Article Written by Hannah Wurz
The west central area experienced a large snowfall and a cold blast at the start of the month, but the weather predictions have turned around as of late. The forecast until Wednesday, December 15 is expected to be warmer with a high of two degrees on December 11. Although it may feel like above average temperatures, meteorologist Terri Lang with Environment Canada describes that our temperatures this December compare similarly to last year.
"The 30 year average low is around minus 18 and the 30 year average high is minus eight. We had that cool spell, and now we are getting into a little bit of a warm up for a few days and then going below seasonal averages. I looked at last year's conditions and they were actually very similar, almost to the day."
Our fall this year, on average, has been much warmer across the country; especially in the Arctic Zone. This is due to our weather pattern in Western Canada. The air coming over the mountains is warming at a higher rate than it is cooling, which is causing the warmth in the Kindersley area. Lang says that there are no volunteer weather reporters in the region and describes how they benefit weather forecasting.
"If you are interested in weather, you can get involved by volunteering. The more information that gets to the forecast, the more accurate it can be. There are two stations at Kindersley Airport but they can't always tell the whole story. If you have information, we can add it to our data arsenal and make a better forecast out of it."
This year, weather patterns have become increasingly more difficult to predict. The extreme drought and precipitation in British Columbia started out as a system over the province.
"We saw this weather pattern setting up for the heat dome that occurred in British Columbia. None of us had ever seen a pattern like before on the weather model. We had trouble believing it at first because it was something we had never seen before, but it actually panned out."
While predicting long-term weather may not be exact, Lang speculates that we may have a cooler than average winter with more precipitation. This may mean that we receive more snow in the months of January and February.